Book Reviews: Better Than Perfect, The New Puberty, & A Winner's Guide To Negotiating

Hello everyone,

are you a perfectionist? Or do you have trouble negotiating? Or is your daughter going through early puberty? If you've answered yes to one of these questions, these books will help you:

Better than Perfect: Free Yourself from Impossible Standards So You Can Live a Happier, Healthier Life by Elizabeth Lombardo
Hello, my name is Gio and I am a perfectionist. I set unachievable goals for myself and then beat myself up when I don't achieve them. I think in all or nothing terms. I have strict rules about how I and other people should behave and judge me and them harshly when we break them. Needless to say, these behaviours have seriously, and negatively, impacted any aspect of my life, from work to relationships. It's only in the past year that I've finally realised how destructive perfectionism can be and have started taking step to overcome it. One of these steps was picking up Better Than Perfect by Dr Elizabeth Lombardo.
A perfectionist herself, Dr Lombardo knows well how perfectionism prevents not only positivity and happiness, but also our productivity. After explaining what perfectionism is, she shares 7 techniques to help you silence your inner critic and create a more fulfilling, happier life. Her exercises and suggestions for behavioural changes are practical and helpful. They include choosing passion rather than fear (perfectionists are usually motivated by fear of failure rather than passion for whatever it is they are doing) and stopping comparing yourself to others in an attempt to feel better about yourself. It just has the opposite effect. Although the tips are simple, putting them in practice is not easy, especially for perfectionists, who feel frustrated if they can't do something perfectly well on their very first try. Just stick with it, or recruit a friend to hold you accountable if you must. The tips work, they just take time.
The book is a fast, easy, and accessible read. Lombardo shares many stories from her personal life as well as case studies of her clients, highlighting how much their lives changed for the better when they put these techniques into practice. This allows readers to better relate to Lombardo and her message, and encourages them to try her advice and stick with it.
Unfortunately, perfectionists don't really think they need any help, so I doubt many of them will pick up this book. I highly encourage you to do so, though, even if you only have some perfectionist tendencies. And if you know a perfectionist, pick up a copy of this book as a Christmas gift for them. If they read it and put its tips in practice, they'll improve their lives... and yours too.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today's Girls by Louise Greenspan, Julianna Deardorff
There have always been girls who matured earlier, but this phenomenon has become more and more common in recent years. Puberty, and the many changes it brings with it, are a challenging time for every girl, but that's even more true when the process starts when you're 8 years old or younger. Without proper support, these girls can become at risk depression, eating disorders, dangerous sexual behaviours, pregnancy, and even cancer.
How can parents, doctors, and teachers help girls who are maturing too soon? The first step is to understand what causes this process to start sooner, so you can avoid potential triggers. And they're not just the usual culprits. The toxins in our environment and the unhealthy food most of us eat can definitely contribute to early puberty onset, but so can psychological factors, such as a distressing and stressful situations at home, lack of a father figure, and sexual abuse. Then, the authors explain what you can do to prevent early puberty or, if your daughter, is experiencing it, how to support her during this critical stage of her life. I especially love the chapter about "the talk". After reassuring parents that developing earlier than usual doesn't necessarily mean that your young girls will have sexual desires just yet, it stresses the importance of not just having one big talk with her when she starts puberty (or right before it), but to have lots of smaller conversations about sexuality, starting at a young age (of course, you should only reveal what's age appropriate). There is also a chapter about how you can figure out whether your daughter is really starting puberty or if any changes in her body may be due to other factors.
The book is written by two experts for the laymen (and laywomen). It's written in a clear and straightforward style that both reassures and informs you, setting the record straight on early puberty and placating any fear you may have about it. However, I didn't find all their sources reliable. In particular, the authors encourage you to follow the recommendations of the Environmental Working Group. While their aim (protecting the population from harmful chemicals) is laudable, their scary reports about the latest dangerous ingredients are almost always refuted by serious scientists. The studies the EWG uses to determine the safety (or lack of it) of ingredients are usually flawed or misinterpreted. For instance, they use studies showing that a substance gives cancer to rats when ingested in huge doses to "prove" that it is dangerous even when applied topically on human skin in a minuscule amount. It just doesn't work that way. While I understand that if your daughter is maturing too soon, you may want to avoid even potential hazards, no matter how insignificant the risk really is, following the recommendations of the EWG may make you become too paranoid and waste money on products that are more expensive but not safer.
Despite its recommendation of one unreliable source, I found the rest of the book informative, insightful and accurate. If you have a daughter, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

A Winner's Guide to Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done by Molly Fletcher
Think you don't need to learn how to negotiate because you're not an agent, a businessman, or a lawyer? Think again. We all negotiate in our daily life, both at work and at home, with our parents, children, colleagues, and even friends. And yet, we don't do it enough. Molly Fletcher, a successful sport agent, routinely uses the negotiating skills she learnt on her job to negotiate better deals when purchasing something from her family or to get her favourite dish on a plane flight. And, by following her tips, you can do the same.
By sharing her many experiences in negotiating deals for sport stars and family members, Fletcher explains what techniques are effective at getting exactly what you want. Her system is easy and, in the book, she breaks it down into workable segments. They include how to ask with confidence, and how to embrace the pause, that awkward moment in the conversation where silence falls and we go into panic mode, thinking all our efforts have been in vain. Learning how to use it effectively has the opposite effect and helps you close the deal in a satisfactory manner. But not all negations are successful. Fletcher has, like everyone else, made some mistakes in her career. She is very candid and open about them. But rather than beat herself up for her failures, she has learned from them and used that feedback to further improve her skills.
Understanding the psychology behind decision-making is critical too. Every human being is different, and negotiating with every one of them becomes easier when you discover their story, what they want, and why. There is also a chapter about the role gender play in negotiation, and why women especially are finding this activity particularly hard.
Written in an easy, accessible style, this informative and entertaining book is a must read for everyone who wants to become a better negotiator.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.